One of the most celebrated features of American life is our “melting pot” of diversity and cultures that bring together people from all walks of life from across the world. The United States of America is and always has been a nation of immigrants who have continually worked together to establish and promote an ideal that all people are created equal and deserve equal standing and consideration in society.
During Black History Month it is important to reflect on the experience that people have had as our country continues to grow and evolve while acknowledging that the road has not been easy for everyone.
Contributions to our community come from people that have roots in cultural identities from across the world and deserve recognition, respect, and a place at the table. While modern media and the internet have made it possible for people to get their information from sources that don’t always consider the viewpoint of other people, we should as informed citizens make a point to reach beyond the echo chambers where bias is found and compare the thoughts and experiences of others so that we can begin to come together and understand each other better.
What makes America so exceptional, in the eyes of Americans, is our ingenuity, diversity, can-do attitude, and willingness to fight forward to keep making progress to better the lives of everyone in our nation. Black History month exists to give us pause and reflect on the contributions and the struggles that African Americans have endured in their march toward equal rights and acknowledgment.
As February ends, let’s expand those reflections to consider how people of all backgrounds impact our lives in positive ways. By looking at our favorite foods, books, movies, sports, activities, celebrities, and technology, it doesn’t take long to find that our favorite parts of life are often created by passionate individuals with roots that extend beyond our borders to almost every corner of the globe.
For example, pizza is from Italy, hamburgers from Germany, movies were invented in France, and Pokémon is Japanese. Let’s keep an open mind to the experience of all Americans and their contributions to making our country a great place to live.